Cover 9@9: Brett Favre on Matt Ryan

The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Liz Gonzales chat about what to expect from the Falcons in the air, on the ground and on the other side of ball against the Panthers.

Good morning. The Cover 9@9 is a weekly blog of everything you need to know about the Atlanta Falcons, published at 9 a.m. each Wednesday morning.

1. Brett Favre checks in on Matt Ryan. Hall of fame quarterback Brett Favre was impressed with Matt Ryan’s performance against the Saints on Monday Night Football. Check out what else he had to say on his weekly show on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

2. The Newton Rules. The NFL long has protected its quarterbacks, even when the league showed little interest in the health of players at other positions. There is a financial incentive: the quarterbacks usually are the marquee names, they are the highest-paid players on average and they are the most difficult players to replace.

3. Where’s Julio Jones?  Fantasy owners were outraged that All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones only had one catch for 16 yards against the Saints.

Some even openly contended on twitter that Jones must have been injured or that he was used as a decoy.

Pure and utter nonsense.

“Make no mistake, Julio’s our featured guy in terms of the explosiveness that we go (with),” Quinn said. “I think it’s pretty rare that there’s catches that happen. There certain covers that go his way and the opportunities come for some other players. He knows that. He’s got the humility to know my job on this one is to be in here and dig a guy out, or it’s in the run game where I’m getting a double coverage and it goes somewhere else.

“He just shows that humility on a consistent basis. I wouldn’t sleep on him not having too many games where there aren’t those kinds of numbers. There are things he did that definitely didn’t show up in the stat sheet because it may not have been a catch, but I promise you he was a factor.”

Quinn didn’t believe that Jones’ re-injured his calves against the Saints.

“I don’t believe so,” Quinn said.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

4. Stopping Greg Olsen. The Falcons have struggled against tight ends this season. Slowing down Panthers tight end Greg Olsen was key to their 20-13 victory over the Panthers last season  on Dec. 27, 2015.The Falcons tried a combination of coverages, but New Orleans Cobi Fleener had seven catches for 109 yards and one touchdown.

“We know we can do this better,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “We’re going to get another shot to do that because the tight ends this week are damn good too. Part of how we like to matchup, it’s not always in the same way so it wasn’t just they threw it to one guy when one guy was covering, that wasn’t the case. That’s one of the areas I say where we’ve got work to do, that would be one for sure for us.”

5. Practice. The Falcons had Tuesday off and return to practice today at 1:45 p.m.

6. Thumbs up for Ryan. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will participate in practice after banging his left thumb.

7. Sanu to be limited. Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu injured his shoulder against the Saints. He will be limited in practice, but is expected to play against the Panthers.

8. Power rankings. The Falcons have moved up in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s latest power rankings.

9. Depth chart. Rookie safety Keanu Neal, who made his debut against the Saints, is listed as the third strong safety although Dashon Goldson was inactive.

If Mohamed Sanu, who had a shoulder injury can’t answer the bell against the Panthers, Aldrick Robinson listed as his backup.

De’Vondre Campbell remains listed as the No.1 weakside linebacker although Sean Weatherspoon has started the past two games.

 OFFENSE

WR 11 Julio Jones, 16 Justin Hardy 14 Eric Weems

LT 70 Jake Matthews, 76 Tom Compton

LG 67 Andy Levitre, 68 Mike Person

C 51 Alex Mack, 63 Ben Garland

RG 65 Chris Chester, 71 Wes Schweitzer

RT 73 Ryan Schraeder, 76 Tom Compton

TE 83 Jacob Tamme, 81 Austin Hooper, 80 Levine Toilolo, 82 Joshua Perkins

WR 12 Mohamed Sanu, 19 Aldrick Robinson, 18 Taylor Gabriel

QB 2 Matt Ryan, 8 Matt Schaub

RB 24 Devonta Freeman, 26 Tevin Coleman

FB 42 Patrick DiMarco

DEFENSE

DE 50 Brooks Reed, 99 Adrian Clayborn, 93 Dwight Freeney

DT 95 Jonathan Babineaux, 90 Derrick Shelby

DT 97 Grady Jarrett, 91 Courtney Upshaw

DE 94 Tyson Jackson, 77 Ra’Shede Hageman

LB 44 Vic Beasley Jr., 54 O’Brien Schofield, 41 Philip Wheeler

LB 45 Deion Jones, 55 Paul Worrilow, 53 LaRoy Reynolds

LB 59 De’Vondre Campbell, 56 Sean Weatherspoon

CB 23 Robert Alford, 29 C.J. Goodwin

CB 21 Desmond Trufant, 34 Brian Poole

S 37 Ricardo Allen, 27 Robenson Therezie

S 36 Kemal Ishmael, 38 Dashon Goldson, 22 Keanu Neal

SPECIALISTS

K 3 Matt Bryant

KO 5 Matt Bosher

P 5 Matt Bosher

KR 26 Tevin Coleman, 14 Eric Weems

PR 14 Eric Weems, 16 Justin Hardy

LS 47 Josh Harris

H 5 Matt Bosher

GAME THREE: Falcons 45, Saints 32

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ 45-32 win over the Saints

Falcons, Saints protest with unity circle before game

REPORT CARD: Falcons earned high marks for drubbing Saints

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

What the Falcons had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

Keanu Neal makes strong debut for Falcons

Falcons’ Deion Jones runs for glory, not survival, in return home

AJC POWER RANKINGS: Falcons best in NFC South?

GAME TWO: Falcons 35, Raiders 28

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ win over the Raiders

Trufant’s heads-up play saves the day

Tight ends help to power offense

Weatherspoon plays strong in first start since 2013

Matthews, Schraeder held Mack sack-less

JEFF SCHULTZ: Falcons put on offensive show and win

What Matt Ryan had to say after beating the Raiders

What Dan Quinn had to say after the win over the Raiders

GAME ONE: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 24

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Bucs

No sacks for new-look Falcons pass rush

Julio Jones not worried about his ankle injury

Falcons have a case of the “no-huddle” blues

REPORT CARD: Falcons can’t ‘gift’ opponents 17 points

FILM REVIEW: Beasley missing in action

AJC’S NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where are the Falcons?

Hageman charged is domestic violence case

 

 

 

GAME THREE: Falcons 45, Saints 32

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ 45-32 win over the Saints

Falcons, Saints protest with unity circle before game

REPORT CARD: Falcons earned high marks for drubbing Saints

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

What the Falcons had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

Keanu Neal makes strong debut for Falcons

Falcons’ Deion Jones runs for glory, not survival, in return home

AJC POWER RANKINGS: Falcons best in NFC South?

GAME TWO: Falcons 35, Raiders 28

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ win over the Raiders

Trufant’s heads-up play saves the day

Tight ends help to power offense

Weatherspoon plays strong in first start since 2013

Matthews, Schraeder held Mack sack-less

JEFF SCHULTZ: Falcons put on offensive show and win

What Matt Ryan had to say after beating the Raiders

What Dan Quinn had to say after the win over the Raiders

GAME ONE: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 24

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Bucs

No sacks for new-look Falcons pass rush

Julio Jones not worried about his ankle injury

Falcons have a case of the “no-huddle” blues

REPORT CARD: Falcons can’t ‘gift’ opponents 17 points

FILM REVIEW: Beasley missing in action

AJC’S NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where are the Falcons?

Hageman charged is domestic violence case

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